Turin is a city and an important business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River, in front of Susa Valley and surrounded by the western Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 883601 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat to be 1.7 million inhabitants. The Turin metropolitan area is estimated by the OECD to have a population of 2.2 million.
The city has a rich culture and history, and is known for its numerous art galleries, restaurants, churches, palaces, opera houses, piazzas, parks, gardens, theatres, libraries, museums and other venues. Turin is well known for its baroque, rococo, neo-classical, and Art Nouveau architecture.
Much of the city’s public squares, castles, gardens and elegant palazzi such as Palazzo Madama, were built in the 16th and 18th century, after the capital of the Duchy of Savoy (later Kingdom of Sardinia) was moved to Turin from Chambery (nowadays France) as part of the urban expansion.
Turin is sometimes called the “cradle of Italian liberty”, for having been the birthplace and home of notable politicians and people who contributed to the Risorgimento, such as Cavour. The city currently hosts some of Italy’s best universities, colleges, academies, lycea and gymnasia, such as the six-century-old University of Turin and the Turin Politecnico. Prestigious and important museums, such as the Museo Egizio and the Mole Antonelliana are also found in the city. Turin’s several monuments and sights make it one of the world’s top 250 tourist destinations, and the tenth most visited city in Italy in 2008.
The city used to be a major European political centre, being Italy’s first capital city in 1861 and being home to the House of Savoy, Italy’s royal family. Even though much of its political significance and importance had been lost by World War II, it became a major European crossroad for industry, commerce and trade, and currently is one of Italy’s main industrial centres, being part of the famous “industrial triangle”, along with Milan and Genoa. Turin is ranked third in Italy, after Milan and Rome, for economic strength. With a GDP of $58 billion, Turin is the world’s 78th richest city by purchasing power, and as of 2010 has been ranked by GaWC as a Gamma- world city. Turin is also home to much of the Italian automotive industry.
Turin is well known as the home of the Shroud of Turin, the football teams Juventus F.C. and Torino F.C., the headquarters of automobile manufacturers FIAT, Lancia and Alfa Romeo, Iveco and as host of the 2006 Winter Olympics. Several International Space Station modules, such as Harmony and Columbus, were also manufactured in Turin. It was the capital of the Duchy of Savoy from 1563, then of the Kingdom of Sardinia ruled by the Royal House of Savoy and finally the first capital of the unified Italy from 1861 to 1870.
It is often referred to as “the Capital of the Alps”. Turin is also known as “the Automobile Capital of Italy” or the Detroit of Italy as it is home of FIAT; in Italy it is also called “la capitale Sabauda”, meaning "the Savoyan capital".
Città della Salute e della Scienza includes the main hospitals of Turin. If you choose a medical internship you are probably going to Ospedale Molinette, if a surgical one to Ospedale Mauriziano. They are all hospitals that routinely host students from the Medical University of Turin as well.
We have one active SCORE project, "Use of ectoenzymes (CD38 and CD157) for prognostic applications and therapy" at professor Malavasi's excellent laboratory of genetics, biology and biochemistry.
We usually prefer to host the students in Italian students flats. In this way both you and the Italian group that is hosting you can experience a full international adventure!
Piazza Castello and Palazzo Reale are at the center of Turin. The square is a pedestrian area with benches and small fountains, ringed by beautiful, grand buildings. The Via Po is an interesting walking street with long arcades and many historic palaces and cafes. Just round the corner you'll find Mole Antonelliana, a 167 meter tall tower built between 1798 and 1888, which houses the excellent National Museum of Cinema. A panoramic lift takes you to the top of the tower for some breathtaking views of the city. Palazzo Carignano now houses the Museo del Risorgimento, and in 1861 the Unification of Italy was proclaimed here. Piazza San Carlo, also known as Turin's living room, is a wonderfull baroque square with the twin churches of San Carlo and Santa Cristina. Quadrilatero is an interesting maze of backstreets with sprawling markets and splendid tiny streets. Mostly if you come here in winter, you have to try a bicerin, a local layered drink made with coffee, chocolate, and cream. Others wonderfull places to visit are Parco del Valentino, where you can have a relaxing walk after your practice at the hospital, and a little bit outside the city Reggia di Venaria and Reggia di Stupinigi, if you love beauty and you are keen to discover how far art can go to breathe life into the inert matter, on your first free day take a stroll there!
The National Cinema Museum of Torino yet it’s not a museum, at least not in the traditional sense of the term. You will be surprised to discover what a special and unique place it is. The Museum is one of the most important of its kind in the world thanks to it vast collection and the many different scientific and educational activities it offers. But what makes it truly unique is its special exhibit setup. The museum is located inside the Mole Antonelliana, a bizarre and fascinating monument which is the symbol of the City of Torino.
The Egyptian Museum of Turin houses the world's largest and most comprehensive collection of Egyptian antiquities outside the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. It was established in 1824, although the University of Turin already owned an important collection of Egyptian material. The museum is located in Via accademia delle scienze, close to piazza Castello.
There are many other beautiful museums in the city, including, but not limited to, the Automobile Museum, the Savoyan Gallery, the Royal Armoury, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Museum of Oriental Art and the wonderful Basilica of Superga, built on a panoramic hill that surmounts the whole city. The entry tickets are not inexpensive, so if you wish to visit more than just a couple of museums we strongly advise you to buy an Abbonamento Musei Piemonte (https://piemonte.abbonamentomusei.it/) for only €32 (special fee for people under 26), and it will give you free access to all museums in the whole Piedmont for one year!
Torino is the home city of the world-famous Juventus F.C. Its stadium, with the annexed museum, is a must-see for every football fan.
Turin celebrates its patron saint in the Festa di San Giovanni on June 24th with events all day and a huge fireworks display at night. Cioccolatò, Turin's big chocolate festival, is in February-March. We have also several music and theater festivals in summer and fall. During the Christmas season there is a 2-week street market and on New Year's Eve an open-air conert in the main piazza.
Markets & Shopping
Piazza della Repubblica hosts Porta Palazzo, the biggest open-air market in Europe.
The streets of Aurora host on every Saturday the flea market called Balon. If you want an original souvenir from your exchange, this is the place to go.
8 Gallery is on the 1st floor of Lingotto, a massive kilometre-long building that was once a car factory operated by FIAT. If you pay a visit, don't forget to take a walk on the impressive test track on the rooftop!
If you are looking for the main clothing brands (benetton, zara, max&co, ecc...) Via Roma is the right place for you! If you prefere something more tipical you should have a walk in via po, via garibaldi or in the quadrilatero.